Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pressure is on Blues

Everton striker Saha believes that all the pressure is on the Chelsea:

"We will be motivated and concentrated for the final. We will be relaxed and all the pressure will be on Chelsea. We want to frustrate the Blues."

I find it a little amusing that club that haven't lifted any silverware since 1995 will be "relaxed", simply to the fact that so many Everton players have not been it this situation before. Nonetheless, Phil Jagielka had this to say:

"I don't think anyone can compete with us in terms of a work ethic or team spirit.

"We've not been blessed with amazing players over the years but have still managed to finish fifth and sixth.

"We haven't been in this situation for a long time so we're very hungry for the win. We had a ridiculously hard run to get to the final and we don't intend to let it slip at the final hurdle."

Steven Pienaar had this to say:

"We have already beaten two sides from the top four, so we can beat another this time," he said.

"It has been a long time for our fans not to have had a cup final, and we know the city will go crazy if we do win at Wembley.

"Our fans are passionate and they deserve success like this. We aim to give them their reward for all the loyalty they have shown to this club over the years.

"Chelsea are a great side, but nothing is impossible. We will give it our best shot."

I am glad that Everton players stopped short from promising a win, they know that it will not be easy as surely do the Chelsea players who are still angry about Champions League Semi exit.

2 best teams are set to lock horns, I am not expecting anything less than a tight affair, a chess match if you will. Mey the best team win.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Gloomy day

What a gloomy day today, it's quite cloudy and rainy out there. But this is not the only thing that is making it gloomy. You see, it's Champions League Final today... United playing against Barca, team that got "little" help from "Ovrebo aka Inept Norwegian" and got by Chelsea. Call me sour grapes, but I don't think they (Barca) should be there and to show my disgust with UEFA, I am refusing to watch this game today. This means one less person in the TV audience, few less beers drank at my local establishment and less food eaten, everyone loses... even government misses out on few bux in taxes. I know I am not the only one like this, Nicolas Anelka said that he will not be watching either.
Hopefully all this anger will turn into something good. Guus thinks it might prove to be extra motivation during FA Cup final game. Hope so, although beating Everton will not be easy. They are fantastic team with fantastic manager, who has won yet another manager of the year award. Congratulations Mr. Moyes.
It is starting to rain, clouds getting even darker, just like my mood. Must think of something funny to brighten the day. Here is a good one, Jose thinks that Swen might have swine flu.
Life goes on, Chelsea seemed to have first signing of the summer, Austrian starlet who might have not passed medical due to foot injury.
Deco and Riccy seem to be first out of the door, they might be re-united with Jose at Inter. Surely they will not be only ones sold, who will stay and who will go only next manager will decide. Speaking of managers, it is still unclear will Carlo become next Chelsea manager or not. I don't have warm and fuzzy feeling about him, now he is saying that he might stay at Milan. Everything will be clear this Monday when he will find out if he is fired or not. Well thanks pal, I can see you're just dying to be next Chelsea manager... personally I'd prefer Bilic. He is much younger and he speaks English, little bonus if you want to live and work in London, we all know what happened to last gaffer who had issues with the language ;)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Managerial mutterings

After 6:45am phone call from work this morning, where some, not so funny, guy informed me that one of my application servers is down.. (not before he asked me how I was doing?) I could not sleep and I started to ponder, what will happen next with Chelsea, who will replace Guus? He did do an amazing job considering all of the mess our World Cup winning manager has left us in. Is it going to be another Dutchman? Moyes? Jose coming back? Avi?!? :) If we're to believe The Sun, Carlo Ancelotti has said that he will take Chelsea job. Details are yet to be ironed out in regards to backroom staff. It is yet to be determined whom Carlo will be allowed to bring with him. It is not unusual for new manager to bring in his own staff. In any case, Roman has been after Carlo for some time now and if his intuition is as good as with Guss, it might be exciting next couple of seasons for us Chelsea fans. Real indication would be next AC Milan's game, Carlo is planning farewell to AC Milan fans. He is to join Paolo Maldini (who is retiring) on the pitch after the club's next home league match against Roma this Sunday, to say goodbye to the supporters.
On another note, Becks (David Beckham) has warned Chelsea players that Carlo has another side to him. Basically, expect 'hairdryer' type treatment if not performing well. Something tells me that Guus also might be using same type of treatment thus players are already used to it.
Carlo is not the only manager rumored to move to the pastures greener. It seems, Arsenal's Wenger is at least pondering about a move to Spain. You see, now that Perez is back in Madrid's boardroom it makes coaching there much more tempting. If Wenger is serious, this is certainly bad news for us non-Gooners, with new coach, Arsenal might actually start winning some trophies.
It is certain that Juventus will have new coach next season as Claudio Rainieri has been sacked. Whole affair is starting to become quite ugly as reportedly Rainieri is ready to sue Old Lady. Brr.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ovrebo speaks

Tom Henning Ovrebo, controversial referee finally broke his silence. Naturally he won't comment about the mess he has created during last game and went on about how he is looking to the future, how people "notice him more" and how he is dealing with his stress. Certainly UEFA cannot claim that there is no gag order. In fact, I wish they would come clean or have some sort of guts to do what MLS executive VP Todd Durbin did. In a nutshell, he said that if referee does not perform well, he will be removed from future MLS matches! Now this is something worth cheering about! My hat is off to Mr. Durbin.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Boys will be boys, Ronnie to Real and more.

Funniest story of the day must be the story about 2 Brazilian soccer stars Ronaldinho and Elano being caught on webcam with their pants down... While they are famous enough to have any company they might like this just proves that boys will be boys and wanking off is for everyone ;) If we hear "wanker, wanker" chants during next Man City's game we'll know whom they are addressed to.

Ronnie to Real rumors just won't die. Now there is new speculation that Ronnie will be sold to Real this summer for 80 million euros. Quite a deal if United can pull it off. Personally I will not miss him in EPL, tired seeing his nearly sobbing face when he misses a chance and his whining when he thinks he has been fouled. Please, go save Galacticos, they surely need you as they can't compete with Barcelona.

I bit of positive news from Chelsea standpoint. It appears that John Terry went into Barcelona's dressing roomright after the game, to congratulate them with the win. Class act, especially if you consider all of the fireworks that went on right after the game. Well done John, you've proved once again why you're Chelsea's and England's captain.

There seem to be quite a few polls on the web now asking if Chelsea should be banned from Champions League next year? Glad to see majority of folks would blame Ovrebo instead. You can't hide the truth from the world when it was evident that ref should be blamed for whole mess. In fact, we should be looking at UEFA and asking them questions why Ovrebo has been appointed to ref such an important game in first place. Shouldn't best deserve best?!?

Guus is calling for video technology introduction in Champions League. Well, it's about time! I always wondered why UEFA /FIFA doesn't introduce such technology? If anything, it would make harder to manipulate games... My friend had a great idea. Have challenges as in NFL. 2 per game, 1 each half. If challenge is lost, team loses one of the subs. Surely this would not add too much time to the game and possibility of losing a sub should be a good deterrent from foolish challenges.

Monday, May 11, 2009

On Drogba, Wenger and UEFA

Quite a spanking to Arsenal yesterday, wasn't it? With humor I read that Wenger accused Drogba of diving. Sure, there was very little contact and Drogba went down quite easily. Fabergas received yellow for his suggestion to the ref that Drogba should be carded. In any case, little contact, players going down isn't something new to the game, we see it week in and week out. I do wonder how Wenger missed Adebayour's blatant dive in the second half, there was NO CONTACT whatsoever? It must have been invisible man, surely! Or Wenger didn't miss it, he is just on Drogba bashing bandwagon? Perhaps he should worry more about his own players?
Arsene's player selection, once again, backfired. 5 man midfield did little to stop Chelsea from scoring and inability to finish by Walcott cost Arsenal dearly. Why Bendtner and Adebayour didn't start the game? Arsenal was much more dangerous once those two went on. Fabergas was invisible and Van Persie resembles a shadow of himself. What Arsenal lacks is that big presence in the midfield (Viera) and at least one central defender. Anelkas goal proves my point. So question is, does "Wenger knows" or is he losing the plot?
It was interesting to watch world reaction to the Ovrebo's "performance" and Drogba's outburst after the infamous game vs Barcelona. Surely everyone had a few days to rest and gather their thoughts. There were apologies from Drogba, Ballack and even Bosingwa, none from Overbo nor UEFA. I do wonder why did they ask Ovrebo to re-write his match report and there seem to be quite a "confusion" in regards to the gag order they may or may not has been ordered. I am very interested to see how this will play out, will we see "Fair Play"? Surely "Respect" part seems to be missing here and I am not surprised at all. It is up to UEFA to proved to us all that they are fair and respectful organization, time will show if it is so.

Friday, May 8, 2009

On Chelsea vs Barcelona

So here we are, few days past since the fireworks went on. Many opinions on the net for both sides...
Some are willing to crucify Drogba for his outburst, then again if you do, might as well go after Fergie.. and pretty much after every other manager in EPL (and any other league for that matter). What does a man do when he is unhappy? He speaks his mind.. so did Drogba, rightly or not it's another issue.
In any case, Pique admitted that Chelsea was "robbed"...(my hat's ff to him for it) so called "referee" of the game admitted to some "major mistakes"... so what? What will that change? Who's going to take the blame? Chelsea bashers will go after CFC's scalp, but then again how is that different from any other day? I do wonder what would go on in Barcelona if it was barca that was "cheated"? My gwess, riots.. burned cars and eternal condemnation of certain Platini (who should resign ASAP).
Life goes on.. what doesn't kill us, makes us stronger! Police outside ref's house "monitoring internet activity" (good luck with that). UEFA over viewing reports... (bunch of paper pushers). But who is to blame for all this mess? I'd say UEFA/FIFA! (Just think of bitter in-fighting going on in Asia right now). Why on eart not choose unexperienced ref for such important tie? What were the reasons for doing so? If anything, games like this should be a reward for job well done.... As far as I am concerned, it is another black eye to the UEFA and if we draw conclusions... well, Champions League sorely missing some sort of video review. It could be "Big Brother" approach such as NHL where everything is being reviewed and if there is such requirement they cal "call down" to the ref and have final word if it was a goal or not. Or one can adapt NFL style of challenges. One of my friends mentioned that if you loose challenge, you loose a sub.. Quite clever! Added time will not amount to 2-3 minutes per game. Surely something like this can be implemented.. not only this will alleviate refs from added pressure it would bring in element of "fairness". Games of such importance cannot be left in single persons hands!
In any case, Champions League supposed to be premier Championship, refereeing should be at the same level.. best refs for the best teams, isn't that the idea? At this point, Champions League is starting to resemble Soviet Union sports leagues with it's preferences to CSKA and Dinamo.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

What is delayed reality?

Have you ever been in the position when you could not watch game live for some reason (due to work or your missus wanting to go shopping, etc)? Instead you've recorded it on your PVR or Setanta/FSC will be re-transmitting the game at 9pm. You're staying away from the news pages on the net, you ask your co-workers and friends not to tell you the score, cuz you want to experience game... well "live". It is not as easy as it sounds... especially when you have pop ups, feeds and online buddies eager to inform you as to what's going on. (Try staying away from the net for 6 hours or so). I would say that most difficult are Champions League games as they are played during the week. So you watch a replay or your recording at night. You still shout at the TV and curse the ref (especially during CL games) and might spill your drink while jumping for joy when your beloved team scores (my neighbors must think I am insane as I tend to be quite loud). (To those who don't understand why not go to the pub or go to the game live, well, not everyone lives in UK, move on pal ;) )